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Jones Day representing first ever receiver in an ICO enforcement action

March 2018

Upon the recommendation of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas appointed Jones Day partner Mark Rasmussen as receiver to manage the assets of a firm facing alleged securities laws violations related to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO); Jones Day is serving as counsel to the receiver. This represents the first time the agency has sought the appointment of a receiver in an enforcement action against the promoters of an ICO.

On January 25, 2018, the SEC filed a lawsuit against AriseBank, Jared Rice Sr., and Stanley Ford, alleging multiple violations of the securities laws. It also obtained an order from the Court, freezing all assets of the defendants. AriseBank claims to be a decentralized bank that has been raising funds for its ICO.

As part of the SEC's lawsuit, the Court appointed Mr. Rasmussen as receiver over AriseBank and its affiliates. The receiver has since secured, assumed control of and is preserving the receivership assets. On February 26, Mr. Rasmussen filed an initial status report regarding the assets that have been collected to date, including U.S. currency, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and computer equipment. Together with his advisors, Mr. Rasmussen has transferred cryptocurrency and U.S. currency to receivership accounts, has taken control of servers and other computer equipment, and is pursuing other receivership assets.

Mr. Rasmussen, a partner in Jones Day’s Business & Tort Litigation Practice and based in the Firm’s Dallas Office, is acting as a court-appointed, neutral third party responsible for overseeing the assets of AriseBank and its affiliates. Neither he nor Jones Day represent either the SEC or the defendants in this case. More information about this matter is available at Investors seeking additional information can contact the receiver at mail

Jones Day has substantial experience advising clients in a broad range of digital currency and distributed ledger technology and more than 50 lawyers across 14 practices and 15 jurisdictions around the world working on myriad transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. The Firm has been involved in multiple market-first, blockchain-driven initiatives and transactions, including central securities depository settlement and securitization transactions. A Jones Day team obtained the first ever effective SEC registration statement that contemplates a public offering using blockchain technology.

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 43 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.

For additional information about this matter, please contact: Mark W. Rasmussen, James A. Cox, Richard J. Johnson

Client(s): Receiver
Office(s): Dallas